Predicting where the population of students will originate each year is a challenge. To help with forecasting, the Higher Education Demand Index or HEDI was developed. It applies demographic trends to college-going rates and rather than assuming today’s rates will continue in the future, it looks at the rates for different socioeconomic groups.

Below is an article from that provides the details of how the HEDI was developed and is used.
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Source: | Re-Post SpendBridge 2/1/2018

Yes, everyone in admissions knows that certain groups of students — those who graduate from good high schools and have parents able to pay a significant share or all of their tuition and other college expenses — are shrinking in number. And the situation is more severe in the Northeast and Midwest, where populations are shrinking, than in other parts of the country.

Those demographic realities, known for years, have led colleges to adjust strategies: new programs to attract adult students. Online education. More outreach to parts of the country where the population is growing. Attracting full-pay international students. Some combination of those and other ideas will work for most institutions, enrollment professionals have said. But what if they are wrong? What if the demographics are about to get much worse for higher education than the experts have expected?

Photo of Nathan D. GraweOptimists and plenty of others in higher education may be concerned by Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education (Johns Hopkins University Press), in which Nathan D. Grawe (right) suggests a bleak outlook for most institutions when it comes to attracting and enrolling students.

Grawe, a professor of social sciences at Carleton College, is not the first researcher to predict challenging changes in the demographics of potential college students.

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